Understanding how people interact with others and how well they work within a company is essential to running a successful organization. Since people function within a group differently than when they are alone, harnessing this understanding of behavior can strengthen a business. Organizational behavior studies how a person or groups of people behave within a business environment. Discovering why people act the way they do in differing professional settings allows business leaders to make the appropriate changes to boost team unity and increase profitability. Studying job satisfaction, group dynamics, creativity, job performance, leadership and innovation can uncover what helps individuals thrive, how to bring about change and how to implement new strategies within a business.

An online Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi can develop the in-demand leadership skills necessary to rise above the competition in the business world. Students in this program will study organizational behavior and theory to lead teams in collaborative problem-solving situations.

Common Organizational Behavior Theories and Styles

Organizational behavior theories helps business leaders and managers fast-track problem-solving to get desired results. Some managers will use certain organizational behavior theory principles or concepts based on their own personality and what works best in their situation. Below are some popular organizational behavior theories and their characteristics:

Scientific Management Theory. Developed in the early 20th century by Fredrick Winslow Taylor, this is the oldest of these management theories. Also known as Taylorism, Scientific Management Theory argues that leaders should divide large jobs into smaller tasks. According to Taylor, employees are motivated by money, companies should reward the employees monetarily in conjunction with their level of productivity. This theory supports the scientific study of each job and hiring and training the best employee for that particular job. Taylor believes that managers and employees should work together closely and that managers should pass along advice to individual employees regarding how to work efficiently.

Human Relations Theory. Developed by psychologist Elton Mayo, the Human Relations Theory was established as a response to the Scientific Management Theory. The Human Relations Theory recognized that humans are complex and motivated by varying aspects other than money. Mayo believed that employee motivation and production could be increased by positive relationships with management and fellow employees in the workplace. By treating employees well, recognizing them as individuals, promoting a positive work environment, ensuring managers are effective communicators, creating an organized workplace and being sensitive to their worker’s needs, a business can be successful.

Theory X and Theory Y Management Theory. Social psychologist Douglas McGregor developed a theory that states that there are two different management styles in the workplace. Theory X assumes that employees avoid responsibility, require coercion for hard work and have little ambition. Managers who follow this theory often discredit their employees and micromanage them. Theory Y managers presume employees are interested in hard work, believe that trusting employees leads to increased production and employees will flourish when provided with development opportunities. Theory Y proposes that employees need minimal supervision when they work in a positive work environment.

Next Steps

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s online MBA program can help prepare business professionals with organizational behavior skills related to the world of business. The Organizational Behavior and Theory advanced course covers the study of individual, group and intergroup behavior within business organizations. Students will study interpersonal relations, personality differences, conflict management, team building, politics, power, work environment, performance and satisfaction.

Learn more about Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s online Master of Business Administration program.